Community First Foundation – Teaching Colorado Kids to Give Where They Live

Betsy Sklar Get Involved, Young AmeriTowne Leave a Comment

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Community First Foundation, organizer of Colorado Gives Day which takes place this year on December 8th, has been a sponsor of Young Americans Center for Financial Education since 2005 when the Center opened it Lakewood location. Over the last 15 years, the Foundation’s leadership support for the Center’s flagship program, Young AmeriTowne (a hands-on, experiential learning program in financial literacy for 5th graders) has directly impacted 151,814 elementary students.  

Through its support, Community First Foundation helps deliver the Philanthropy Unit – a key pillar in the Young AmeriTowne curriculum, which teaches students about the free enterprise system and the important and unique role of government, business and nonprofits All three sectors are necessary for a vibrant and functioning economy.  

Helping students learn through hands-on, real-life activities, Community First Foundation teaches students how to identify and support nonprofits who provide essential services not covered by the government or business sectors. During the at-school lessons, students learn the value of giving their time, talents and treasures in support of community well-being.  During the real-life Towne experience students can make individual gifts to real Colorado charities from their wages, and businesses can make donations from their profits, which is part of the business plan each student business team creates at school before the economic simulation.  

AmeriTowne Donation Station

Students can donate their personal or business income at the Community First Foundation Donation Station at Young AmeriTowne Belmar.

The real impact comes from Community First Foundation’s matching initiative – the Foundation matches 10% of the AmeriTowne dollars donated by students with real dollars turning the student donations into tangible gifts to each of the selected nonprofits 

At the end of each school year, students present charity donation checks representing the cumulative total in student giving from all participating schools. In the 2019/2020 school year, students donated $61,141.71 of their hard earned AmeriTowne dollars to actual charities.  

“I personally thank Community First Foundation for its enduring role in teaching Colorado youth about the important of civic engagement.  Through its sponsorship and matching fund, the Foundation gives students a real-life experience in studying nonprofits and determines how best to take action to support their work,” Richard E. Martinez, Jr., President and CEO, Young Americans Center for Financial Education.  

On behalf of all Colorado nonprofits, Young Americans Center for Financial Education thanks Community First Foundation for its commitment to creating the philanthropic spirit in young citizens. 

Learn more about Community First Foundation and its Kids for ColoradoGives program.

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